Portable Hard Drives Recommendation

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Are there reasons why portable hard drives (with no AC Adapter) is a bad decision? I've heard that a portable hard drive will have a significant decrease on the IBook battery. Also, that many portable hard drives voltage can vary which can fluctuate the operation of the hard drive. I would appreciate anyones experience and recommendation.



Rick

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    I just got a cheap USB 2.0 hard drive enclosure and upgraded my MacBook Pro to a bigger drive. That way, you get more hard drive space AND an external hard drive for the same amount or less than you'd spend on a name brand.



    No, I can't think of a reason you wouldn't want a USB-only (no power adapter) but most of the USB-powered hard drives can take an AC adapter too.



    Battery life is subjective... I usually just plug into my AC adapter anyway, so I don't notice more power consumption out of the external. I have a big external hard drive at the office, I only use the small usb powered for personal files and transfers when I'm out or on weekends.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    buddhabuddha Posts: 386member
    Firelite 160GB



    I've got one of those (only its a 120GB) and they're really small and reliable. They have a port for a DC adapter but I don't think it comes with one.



    It's less than an inch thick and is about 5 in x 3 in.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    beley,



    I am trying to do the same thing you did. I upgraded to a bigger HD in my old G4 iBook. I purchased a Macally enclosure for the old HD. For some reason the old hard drive (a Hitachi Travelstar IDE drive) will not mount. I got it to mount on my Intel iMac at work, but it still won't mount on my iBook.



    I keep reading that I might have to set a jumper on the old hard drive, but i have no idea how to do that (i'm sorta new to this tech stuff).



    Any advice?
  • Reply 4 of 8
    galleygalley Posts: 971member
    I recommend drives made by SimpleTech.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,834moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rr53891 View Post


    Are there reasons why portable hard drives (with no AC Adapter) is a bad decision? I've heard that a portable hard drive will have a significant decrease on the IBook battery. Also, that many portable hard drives voltage can vary which can fluctuate the operation of the hard drive.



    It depends on the model of drive and the laptop you use. The newer Macs supply enough voltage to keep most drives working properly. Older Mac laptops require you to use both USB ports and the drives usually come with a split cable, one for power+ data, the other for power. Firewire shouldn't have an issue with not getting enough power.



    I imagine it would affect battery life but the drives spin down quite regularly.



    Disadvantages to using bus-powered drives is if you pull out the cable while transferring, the drive spins down. This isn't good for the drive at all.



    They also tend to be slower. There are very few 7200 rpm portable drives. Also, because they are 2.5", they tend to be more expensive for the storage space you get.



    I use both kinds and I wouldn't say I could choose between them because I need the performance of the 7200 rpms drives for backup and I need the portability of the mobile drive for taking to work every day.



    The Lacie little big disk might be a good compromise but it's still more expensive for the space you get:



    http://www.lacie.com/uk/products/product.htm?pid=10724
  • Reply 6 of 8
    All I can say is, unless you are going for a desktop, in which case this isn't really an issue, go with FireWire-based drives. You'll never worry about two-cable power needs, and you'll get faster transfer speeds. Sure, they may be a little more expensive, but never more than $25 additional, and they'll serve you better. A FireWire/USB2 combo enclosure would be even better.
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